President Donald Trump has called the North American Free Trade Agreement "the worst trade deal in the history of the world." But a group of Texas business leaders begs to differ. In a step toward preserving what works about NAFTA, the Texas Association of Business and Texas Business Leadership Council have formed the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition.
"Texas has more to gain or potentially more to lose with the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement," Texas Association of Business CEO Jeff Moseley says.
Mexican and Texas businesses are strongly integrated, he says, and the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition wants to ensure that "Texas voices are heard" during the anticipated renegotiation of the 23-year-old NAFTA accord.
Moseley would like shifting industries over time to be taken into account when crafting a new agreement. He says altering NAFTA will impact nearly 400,000 Texans, a portion of whom work in technology, for example.
"We want to make sure that in its next version, [it] can show the value of trade – Texas with Mexico – in this tech sector," Moseley says.
The Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition calls for including in the revised agreement a continued role in developing energy assets in Mexico. This would translate to further job growth for Texans and helps Mexico, says Moseley. He also wants to encourage more trade of goods across the border.
"We want to make sure those border crossings are efficient, effective and have the security that needs to be there," Moseley says.
As a prelude to renegotiation, Mosely met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross this week, and says Ross' initial philosophy on fixing NAFTA is the idea of doing "no harm."
"It's really appropriate that we take a look at what the next generation of trade document looks like and how it better serves Texas and Mexico," Moseley says.
Written by Louise Rodriguez.